With the phones being very much available to the kids these days and the digital marketing being the next big thing in India, the likes of KFC, Mc Donald’s and Burger King have already started branding and advertising their products online. With the advertisements revolving around how tasty their food is and children being their target audience, parents face a lot of difficulties inculcating the good eating habits into their daily life.
One must understand that the commercials are made in such a way that it should directly hit the target audience. With the digital revolution coming into the picture, statistics conducted by Indian Institute of Management states that kids with the age group of 4 to 11 years are also very much available on social media, but the kids do not realize that advertisements are often misleading. So, what can be done so that your kids can have a good eating habit?
1. Your Kitchen and Fridge need to have options.
Your household needs to have a lot of healthy options, fried food items, drinks with high sugar quantities or canned products are not counted. The best way of inculcating healthy eating habits is to show them a variety of healthy eating options that is available. For example, Oats might sound boring as a dish but there are different ways of cooking it, that makes the dish exciting. If your kid will not know that healthy foods can be tasty, they will switch to fried foods. Your kid can have fresh orange juice instead of cola, introducing healthy substitutes at the right time is important.
2. Slow and Steady Wins the Race.
Parents often ask their children to eat fast or force them to eat something they do not want. Research has proved that the food consumed when eaten uninterested does not do any good for the health. So, what can be done? Ask your child to eat slowly and chew the food properly before swallowing it. Give food according to their age group requirements. If your kid asks for more food, wait for 15 mins before you serve them, this helps the food to settle down. The second portion of the food should always be lesser than the first portion, and it is better if more veggies get served with the second portion. This will help you to understand your child’s intake. Even after knowing your child’s intake, try to divide the meal into two parts.
3. Together we Stay Happy.
Try to have meals with your full family. In this fast-paced world eating with your family has become a luxury instead of a daily routine. It is important to know that when the whole family sit together and eat, a very happy environment is created hence, the kid enjoys the food rather than just eating it. One should use this time to make the bond stronger instead of scolding the child because in that case the child will start eating faster or may end up stress eating. Eating together helps you bond with your kids and in long run the chemistry of the family increases.
4. Say NO to Binge Eating.
Our kid looks at us and tries to mirror reflect things that we do in our daily life. So as adults we have a habit of eating things while we watch a movie or tv series. Our kids on the other hand watch us and try to do the same when they are watching cartoons, and no one can find a better replacement of chips and cartoons going together. So to stop this from happening we must get disciplined first and not allow the kids to take any food materials to the living space or drawing room where the source of entertainment is there. The eating space or area should be restricted to a dining room or kitchen, this will lead to a certain discipline and restriction on food habits.
5. Drink Water Regularly.
Oh boy, I would be lying if I say I am suggesting this thing just to the kids. NO, NO, NEVER, it does not matter if you are a kid or a grown-up; water is really important for digestion. Ask your kid to drink water regularly after completing their meals, water will help them digest the food, keep the body hydrated and this will also keep them away from digestion related issues. We should not only drink water when we are thirsty but instead, we should make a timetable of consuming at least 750 ml of water every hour.
If we follow these simple rules, your kid can learn about healthy eating practices and the biggest concerns of the parents will vanish at a go.